This game reminds me very much of Wanderlust Rebirth but with one major difference: Wanderlust is one of the biggest pieces of suck garbage I have ever played and Hammerwatch is very awesome. Well almost. This game missed the mark badly and could have been one of the all-time greats. It is completely ruined by being a exercise in nothing more than hammering the attack button until your hand feels like it is dying. It could have very, very easily been remedied by not making A (I use a xbox 360 controller) the attack button, but instead make you attack in whichever direction you hold the right analog stick, like oh, I don't know, THE NEW GAUNTLET GAME. You do mash X to attack as the warrior or valkyrie in the new Gauntlet, but not nearly as much as here because in Gauntlet it also has a heavy mix of skill usage and you still do not mash attack as much as this game. But the ranger and mage classes in Gauntlet fire by holding the right stick in a direction which is ♥♥♥♥ing awesome.. This could have been an absolutely amazing NES version of Gauntlet, but instead you need to avoid this no matter what you are told and instead buy the new Gauntlet game on Steam which is a very good new game. Quite literally all you do in this game is press A hundreds of thousands of times and get severe hand pain. There are plenty of people in the forums as well to back up my point, with tons of people also complaining that this game is unplayable because of the extreme pain it causes from playing. I played this several hours straight two days in a row and my hand was in such extreme pain that I couldn't play any other games for the next few days. You have to press the attack button in this game more than any other game I have ever seen by FAR, and I have seen some whoppers in my life. If there ever was a game sorely in need of a auto-fire button or right analog stick attack, it is this one. There actually is a auto-fire option, but it is completely useless. By the default setting which is really stupidly assigned, you have to hold down a button (I mapped mine to RT on my gamepad) then hold down attack (A) to autofire. That is really ♥♥♥♥ing stupid. I found out that you can actually map autofire to the attack button so you can hold down attack to autofire. But the problem still is that it slows your attack to a crawl, making the autofire option totally useless, forcing you to tap attack instead. They recently updated it to make autofire fire faster but it is still too slow so you will still be slamming attack button fifty million ♥♥♥♥ing times a minute. I cannot imagine how god awful playing a game like this designed for a controller would be playing with a keyboard so I didn't bother. I use my wired xbox 360 controller and it controls great, but after hammering the A button a trillion times a minute, my hand is dead. You really should only play this game in short bursts over a period of a month or so. I am basically done with the game until they patch it to fix this.
If fixed, this would be my review below. But as it is, this game is one of the most highly non-recommended games I have ever reviewed unless you want a broken hand, so you need not read any more. The review below is basically just to point out how bad of a missed opportunity this game is. 1/10, 9/10 if fixed. Opportunity to make a amazing little indie game that was squandered badly. It seems like indie game makers are getting dumber and dumber as time goes on. The people making most of these indie games nowadays really need to get a clue. It seems to be an increasing trend that basic common sense is becoming a total stranger to most indie game makers, as it would seem that for whatever reason, they have their heads in the clouds in “durrrrr” mode equivalent to that of a teenager with a iphone that stares down at their phone all day. It's as if those mindless phone-staring kids are the ones making these games. Put your phones down and use at least some glimmer of sensibility, please.
*** This is my review after playing for only a few hours until I realized the game killing problem.
Hammerwatch is basically Gauntlet in a 8-bit version, but a hundred times better than Gauntlet (the arcade version) ever was, and a thousand times better than the NES version of gauntlet which was horrible. It has more heart and style than most AAA games that come out. It does it right with the NES style in that the only resemblance to a NES game that it bears is the graphics. Most indie games that try to look retro unfortunately do not realize that they should stop there and they end up making a crap game just like 90% of the awful NES library was. The small portion of NES titles that were truly great memorable classics still had flawed and/or aggravating controls and horrible game structure by today's standards, and even back then games were over the top frustrating and cryptic. The graphics are good. Bright, smooth and pleasant with great art direction and dungeon design, and really good spell effects (I'm playing a wizard). Good enemy design and good animations/effects overall, however the same enemies are recycled big time and there are very few enemy types. I am a long way into the game and so far the only enemies have been maggots, skeletons, and floating eyeballs and wisps, by the thousands. Thankfully though, there are plenty of traps and sub-bosses added in throughout the game. The music is one of the game's big highlights. It sounds fantastic; moody and inspiring with a perfect match for the dungeon setting. The sound effects are a bit generic but it is not a detractor from the games numerous other merits. Controls are smooth and you can move and shoot in any of eight directions with ease. I have been using the wizard so far and it is a blast, albeit very repetitive spamming fireball 900,000 times. So far the game has not thrown any unreasonable areas at me but I am still truckin along so we will see. I am genuinely excited to find out because I love this game because it gets the retro/new-age style right. Very excited to play some more and see how challenging it gets. I can see how the first boss could be very hard for some people but I beat him after a few retries. The second dungeon boss was a little easier imo and I beat him on the first try. So the game might not be challenging enough for some people, but I imagine that the next boss fights will be pretty crazy.
I got lucky and found this in a humble bundle with two other games for a dollar but if I had to choose which game I wanted for $50, this or Watch Dogs, which I have already played and it is so poorly optimized that it runs like garbage on my powerful rig, I would choose Hammerwatch. The controls of this game remind me exactly of Retro City Rampage which is another great retro gem. After playing this for 30 minutes I was liking it so much that I felt like I had gotten my dollars worth already. A dollar for 3 games including Hammerwatch, I felt like I was ripping them off, not to mention the cards that I sell from the three games will prolly be around 20-30 cents total.
2/10. 9/10 if they could fix it so you don't have a broken hand after playing for an hour.